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Orthopedic Associates of Middletown increases per-doctor patient volume by nearly 13%

Case Study

Practice Goals

  • Shift successfully to an all-in-one orthopedic suite
  • Grow and scale without disrupting patient care
  • Improve operational and patient outcomes

Key Benefits Experienced

  • Increased daily per-physician visits by 12.8%
  • Decreased wait times by three minutes per patient
  • Boosted productivity and sped up documentation

Orthopedic Associates of Middletown implements all-in-one orthopedic software to help support growth and increase efficiencies

Erika Skinnon headshot

“ModMed’s orthopedic-specific solutions are intuitive to use and help practices increase efficiency quickly. Our physicians continually find ways to optimize and improve productivity with the built-in AI and protocol creation. We have seen a major improvement where we can finalize notes and send them over for billing faster.”

Erika Skinnon, PA-C

Since the inception of Orthopedic Associates of Middletown (OAM) 30 years ago, the focus on patient-centered care has remained paramount to growth — along with offering the most advanced care for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of orthopedic and rheumatologic conditions.

The challenge for any practice going through a major transition is to keep an eye on long-term growth without disrupting current patient care. In early 2019, OAM recognized that a switch to a new, all-in-one technology solution could reduce frictions in the office, streamline patient intake and speed up clinical documentation, all while driving back-office billing efficiencies. 

In its previous solution, OAM identified two major hurdles: lack of confidence in data integrity and limitations of data connectivity between its previous EHR and PM systems. Additional challenges included reliance on a server-based system, lack of efficiency due to speed, and meeting MIPS requirements. 

The group selected the all-in-one orthopedic suite from ModMed®, which includes the award-winning* EMA® orthopedic EHR system; ModMed BOOST, a combination of Practice Management technology and revenue cycle management services; and Patient Engagement tools.

More than a year after implementation of ModMed Orthopedics, OAM was able to look back on a year of success in spite of a turbulent global pandemic. Compared to the same period the year prior, the practice was seeing a nearly 13% increase in per-physician visit volume — in spite of the lingering effects of COVID-19 heading into the beginning of 2021.  

Skinnon explained, “ModMed has helped remove inefficiencies in clinical and staff operations. For example, our team can complete documentation and a visit note in real time with the patient present. Not only has that helped increase our capacity to see patients but also it’s opened up bandwidth for my team to think more strategically about how to drive preferential patient volume through the clinic.”

Graph of average daily patient visits per full-time MD, December 2020 to February 2021

Limited Disruption During Implementation

A common concern for any practice implementing a new technology is disruption to patient volume, customer experience and billing velocity. In the midst of a global pandemic, OAM was especially concerned about patient visits dropping due to a lengthy or complicated implementation of a new EHR solution.

OAM identified an internal core project team, which helped in terms of allocating next steps, tasks and deliverables to appropriate team members. The ModMed training team conducted onsite workshops, beginning with OAM’s “super user” group, then the remaining providers and staff. This prepared the entire OAM staff when it was time to go live. Due to COVID travel restrictions, ModMed deployed two local trainers who stayed onsite for two weeks to support OAM as it went live, which really helped with early implementation.

Two months after implementation, OAM was surprised to see that not only had per-physician volumes been barely affected but also they were up versus the year prior just a month after implementation — despite switching EHRs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic! 

“There were some physicians who were 100% transcription and never interacted with the EMR, but they can now rely on EMA to complete their visits using speech to text. They can see their work in near real time, including when documentation is complete and charges are posted,” said Skinnon.

Results: Go-live within 60 days with an increase in average daily patient visits per full-time MD at OAM (Figure 2). In month 2 after implementation, the clinic saw an increase of 12.8% versus the prior period.

Graph of average patient daily visits per full-time MD

Patient-Centric Care, Reimagined

With OAM’s reputation for achieving outstanding patient outcomes, its technology solution needed to help elevate the patient experience. It was critical that the patient intake process and the surgeon-patient relationship were enhanced over time. 

“We really appreciate the seamless tools ModMed provides for us to engage with patients before, during and after the visit. This has helped improve no-show rates and speed up check-in times. For example, patients can check in and pay their balances before even stepping into the office, which really improves the wait-room experience. The Patient Portal and APPatient™ can allow for more patient engagement and lighten the load for front desk and clinical staff,” Skinnon shared.

Results: Since implementing the orthopedic software and taking advantage of the intuitive patient portal, kiosk, engagement app and communication tools, the average patient wait time dropped almost three minutes per patient. 

Optimized Efficiencies

Getting buy-in from the providers was essential for OAM to prepare and execute its transition to new technology. How would staff benefit from the new orthopedic software and how could they achieve the level of patient satisfaction they strove for? 

One facet of this was the time providers took to finalize a note, and this statistic was critical for surgeon satisfaction. The ModMed Analytics platform offered OAM insights into how its doctors were performing and where there could be further need for tracking performance of patient volumes and patient flow. 

“ModMed’s orthopedic-specific solutions are intuitive to use and help practices increase efficiency quickly. Our physicians continually find ways to optimize and improve productivity with the built-in AI and protocol creation. We have seen a major improvement where we can quickly finalize notes and send them for billing,” Skinnon explained.

OAM continually reviews the robust data available in the ModMed Analytics platform to determine steps for improving surgeon flow and strengthening the surgeon feedback loop. 

A Clear Path for the Future

As with any great practice, OAM hasn’t slowed down since the successful implementation of ModMed. Now part of Spire Orthopedic Partners, the group is looking to continue advancing patient care over a multistate network. Spire is a forward-looking capital and management partner for leading orthopedic and spine physicians that collaborates with renowned clinicians, innovates to provide the best patient care possible, and grows thriving practices in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

The robust analytical and operational tools provided by ModMed systems have allowed Spire to partner directly with OAM to pinpoint new opportunities for growth and improve the bottom line.  

In 2022, OAM partnered with Middlesex Ortho to become MOSA. Due to success and ease of use, MOSA kept ModMed in place, which allowed for a seamless integration onto the URL because workflows were already streamlined.

The statements and conclusions contained herein reflect the opinions of Erika Skinnon and not those of ModMed. ModMed makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy of any such information. Results may vary depending on medical practice size, product usage and other variables.

*2023 Black Book™
©2023 Modernizing Medicine, Inc.